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Aim of new network for dads
by Rachel Chan

SINGAPORE fathers, here’s a sobering fact: You spend less time with your children than your spouses do.

You typically spend 8.4 hours with them during the weekend – about two hours less than mothers who devote 10.5 hours.

These are some of the results from the first survey on fathering conducted by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports in April and May.

It discovered a gap between the perceptions of dads’ roles and that of their degree of involvement.

While 97 per cent of its 2,220 respondents agreed that a dad has an important role to play in parenting, only 84 per cent felt that dads here are involved in their children’s lives.

To bridge that gap, the National Family Council has set up a new network called the Fathers Action Network (FAN).

Chaired by Mr Richard Seow, the chairman of Parkway Holdings, the network comprises 15 members, including Mr Matthew Pereira, The Straits Times’ sports editor, and Mr Wong Suen Kwong, co-founder of Centre For Fathering.

FAN will launch the nationwide Dads For Life movement on Thursday by distributing toolkit packs containing, among other items, a lapel pin with its logo.

Fathers and children are also invited to share their stories on a website expected to be launched next February.

“We want more people to share the joy of being a father, so I believe Dads For Life is going to be a movement that will make dads become cool again,” said Mr Seow.

Mr Lim Soon Hock, chairman of the National Family Council and the Centre For Fathering, welcomes FAN as there is “only so much we can do by ourselves” at the Centre For Fathering.

Professor Jean Yeung, a FAN member who teaches sociology at the National University of Singapore, thinks one of the key challenges in getting fathers to spend more time with their kids is convincing employers to provide more flexible work hours and a more favourable work culture.

“Policies such as (that of) paternity leave are also worth exploring. With the campaign and cooperation from the workplace, we’ll get results.”

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readers' comments
If they are trying to feminize males for political purposes eg like capturing female votes, the males should vote against any political party that is trying to push female agenda down their male throats. Start boycotting pro-female political parties.
Posted by cylon6 on Tue, 17 Nov 2009 at 14:59 PM

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